Home News WhichPLM Blog 14 Nov, 2008: The Credit Crunch and the Inevitable Clouds!

WhichPLM Blog 14 Nov, 2008: The Credit Crunch and the Inevitable Clouds!


Clouds are coming, but not the sort you may be thinking of!
Yes the BBC weather men predicted a few rain clouds over the UK today (and they got it right!), but those weren’t the clouds I was thinking about… 

We've just entered the world's worst financial melt down and we need to think of ways in which we can help our industry to survive. One of the most important things to do when times are bad is to maintain positive cash flow. Many of the smarter companies out there are starting to scrutinise each and every element of cost to minimise risk. For some this includes sub-contracting their IT processes including PDM/PLM to SaaS (Software as a Service) and Cloud Computing companies.

SaaS solutions present tremendous opportunities for all sizes of companies, but the main users today in the apparel industry are the SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises). The bottom line is that SaaS offers the apparel industry a low cost and accessible entry into the Product Lifecycle Management world. 

Today, the economic crisis could be a blessing in disguise for the SaaS vendors offering budget-pressured companies with an alternative solution to enable them to benefit from PDM/PLM software without the need to pay up front for licenses and hardware.

SaaS/Cloud Computing solutions offer a very cost effective means of ‘ownership’ to help companies deliver FAST communications, collaboration, sharing of data and much more! The recession will force many companies into bankruptcy and will see the larger groups amalgamating new business into their organisations. SaaS is another way to bring on new business rapidly and for the SME market to remain lean and competitive at all times.
Competition in the SaaS market will start to grow over the next 12months. In the last few weeks, we have seen packaged-software vendors start to offer their products as SaaS/Cloud services. Oracle, SAP and Microsoft already offer hosted CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution. Just last week, Microsoft announced a new project, Azure, to compete with Force.com, providing a platform for building hosted applications.

Keep watching the SaaS/Cloud Computing hosted solutions space..!

Mark Harrop%2C Product Development Partnership LtdMark Harrop

Mark Harrop is a leading Apparel PLM expert with more than 34 years experience in the industry. Mark co-founded the Product Development Partnership Ltd, the team of experts behind WhichPLM.

Email Mark at: mark@whichplm.com


Ben Hanson Ben Hanson is one of WhichPLM’s top contributors. Ben has worked for magazines, newspapers, local government agencies, multi-million pound conservation projects, museums and creative publications before his eventual migration to the Retail, Footwear and Apparel industry.Having previously served as WhichPLM’s Editor, Ben knows the WhichPLM style, and has been responsible for many of our on-the-ground reports and interviews over the last few years. With a background in literature, marketing and communications, Ben has more than a decade’s worth of experience, and is now viewed as one of the industry’s best-known writers.